Monday, February 16, 2015

Week 83: "All Kingdoms Have a Law Given."


The Lord ceases to amazing me with the blessings, miracles, and surprises he sends our way!  Last night we got a call from President Hansen.  He asked what our schedule was like for the rest of the night.  And wanted to know if we could come down to the mission home, in Holladay, after we were finished teaching so he could "run something by [us]".  What the heck?!?  President doesn't just call up Elders like this and tell them to come to his house at 9pm, unless something’s up!   And especially when all this stuff has been going on with getting a new President and everything!  We've seen President Hansen at a few meetings, but he has let his councilors take over the mission for the most part.  So, we go down to his place after our last lesson.  He greets us at the door with his famous big grin. I love President Hansen! His daughter and son in-law were there as well so we all chatted for a few minutes.  Then President asks if he can chat with me in his office.  I'm thinking "Oh no...what did I do?! " haha  It was a great visit with him.  So much knowledge and wisdom to learn from him.  He’s one of the greatest men I know!  He released me as Zone Leader and asked me to be an Assistant to the President--starting tomorrow.   President Hansen will be leaving on Feb. 28th, and President Spendlove (new mission president) will come in then.  I'm confident the Lord will help this transition run smoothly and the work will carry on.  I'm sad to lose President Hansen.  He'll be living in St. George, so I’ll be able to easily keep in contact!   But, I’m excited to work with President Spendlove.  We have Zone Conferences coming up this next week so I'm sure things will be insane for a bit.

We had a baptism on Saturday!  Her name is Emely (22). We got a call from a set of missionaries in the Utah SLC East mission last Tuesday. They told us they've been teaching her for 2 months, and that she's getting baptized this weekend and she's in our ward!  She's really nice and has a desire to follow Christ. I'm so happy for her and her decision of being baptized. The Elders in this area will be teaching the New-Member discussions as follow up from here on out.

We've picked up a few new investigators this week! One is a Russian who has been living in UT for 8 months. He's super interested in getting involved with the Ward activities and doing service (maybe even going to the Cannery). The other new investigator is a starter for the UofU basketball team!  Brandon Taylor is his name.   He has a less-active girlfriend that we ran into while trying to contact someone else in an
apartment complex!  He was asking the "golden questions.”  "What makes your church different than all the other churches?"  High hopes for him!

President Hansen came to our Zone Meeting this week and gave a beautiful training on the life after this one…The Spirit world.  A few things I learned from the training and from a few talks he had us read in prep. for the training:

"All kingdoms (of glory) have a law given. And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions. All beings who abide not in those conditions are not justified. And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another kingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a Telestial kingdom. For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory."
 (D&C 88:36,38,39,21,22)

"The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the celestial law as it applies to man, human souls in mortality. Obedience to this [celestial] law is a prerequisite to resurrection with a celestial body." -President Marion G. Romney

This life is about learning to live the Higher (Celestial) law…The Law of Christ. That's why the Temple is so very important! Not only are essential ordinances done there, but we are able to learn the Law of Christ. We must go back often to learn of the Spirit "in all things that are expedient for [us] to understand." (D&C 88:78)

The Atonement of Jesus Christ has made it possible for us to repent, so that we might not suffer for our sins. If we do not repent and allow the Lord to satisfy the demands of justice for us, we must "satisfy the demands of justice [ourselves] by paying (suffering) of our own sins in hell." (D&C Student Manual. Religion 324 & 325)

"For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink— Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men." (D&C 19:16-19)

This is not to be taken lightly. It's not to scare us, but to motivate us and to "arouse our faculties". It's to bring to light the importance of repentance. We have to see the bigger picture.

Christ told his Apostles: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." (John 15:13-14) He is referencing His Atonement. If we don't obey Him, we are not his "friends" and therefor are not able to partake in His great mercy.

President Hansen once said, "True doctrine, properly understood and applied, holds the real key to our successful journey through life."

We need to focus on the "true doctrine" and understand what brings true joy in this life and in the life to come. Happiness is a state of being. Please and Joy are the duration of that happiness. Please is momentary, while joy is everlasting. Think about it. If we find ourselves not happy in this life, then we need to evaluate our lives to see if we are focusing on and putting our priorities toward things that bring joy--Things that last forever, rather than just in this life.  Our knowledge, testimony, conversion, family relationships, character, faith, etc. Those are things that bring true joy!

I love this Gospel and the opportunities it gives us to learn at an exponential rate (1,2,5,10,100,1000,10000). The world and adversary encourage us and want us to learn and progress at just a linear rate (1,2,3,4,5). With the Spirit, and the help of the Lord, our learning, mind, and understanding can progress so much more and faster. I can confidently testify that this is true. On the mission, I have seen that ability to progress at an exponential rate. The Lord never ceases to amaze me!

I love this work and I love the Lord. Stay close to him and I promise he will bless you.

Elder Carroll

My book collection!

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